The Efficiency of Education Expenditure in Portugal

63 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2006

See all articles by Benedict Clements

Benedict Clements

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - African Department

Date Written: December 1999


This paper assesses the efficiency of education expenditure in Portugal and delineates a possible agenda for reform. Portugal's low educational performance has coincided with the highest level of primary and secondary education expenditure to GDP in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), suggesting considerable inefficiency. Empirical results from the application of a nonparametric technique for production frontier estimation (Free Disposable Hull analysis) support this view. Among the reforms that could be considered to raise educational efficiency are the adoption of a goal-oriented management and incentive system; establishment of minimum student/teacher ratios; and an easing of employment and work rules governing public school teachers.

Keywords: Fiscal Policy, Education, Free Disposable Hull Production Frontiers, Portugal

JEL Classification: C14, H52, I2

Suggested Citation

Clements, Benedict, The Efficiency of Education Expenditure in Portugal (December 1999). IMF Working Paper No. 99/179, Available at SSRN:

Benedict Clements (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - African Department ( email )

1700 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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